Today is my birthday 🙂  To be honest it’s barely registered at all – although I did get the coolest e-card from my mum and dad which totally freaked me out when it started playing as it was cats’ miaowing happy birthday –  hope the neighbours liked it as I’ve no idea how to turn the volume down on the laptop (my lack of technological skills are legendary).

However, thanks to Tony the other English teacher and his fantastic girlfriend I now have the router connected, the wifi is working perfectly and more importantly, my beloved ipad is working again – never underestimate the power of being able to watch comedy on youtube!  I’ve no idea how they did it and quite frankly I’m not sure they did – between the two of them they were able to sort of work out the mandarin instructions but then Tony did something and suddenly all the instructions were in English and he was able to connect everything within two minutes.  It was annoying to have to leave everything to go to my one solitary class at 2pm.

And what a nightmare that was – class 20 bless them were a rowdy and uncommunicative bunch, only two girls spoke the very slightest of English and even doing my usual going round and speaking to each group individually and then getting them to do their spiel about what they liked doing, I still literally had 20 minutes to kill before the end of the class.  I did toy with the idea of leaving them early but I slogged on with asking them what they would like their English lesson to consist of, whether they wanted to play games in the class – but nothing.  To be honest I’m not sure they were even interested in learning English, apart from one girl who was very sweet but again couldn’t really communicate. 

This is the hard part of teaching – how on earth do you try and even give instructions for a game when both of our respective language skills are so limited?  I’ve got Thursday off this week so I’m going to spend a bit of time researching this.  My classes go from 1-22 where 1 has the best English and 22….. you get the idea.  I taught classes 1-10 last week so I’ve a feeling this week is going to be hard going, especially as I have four classes on both Tuesday and Wednesday who I am assuming are going to have the same level of English as today’s class.

Food’s been a bit hit or miss today….lunch was what I vaguely thought were supernoodles but turned out to be really spicy, so after the class at 3pm I was sitting on the balcony reading and eating fruit when there was a sandstorm/thunderstorm.  It was amazing to see it, you could literally watch the clouds coming over and the sand blowing in, I couldn’t see the tower blocks over the back at all, and the thunder was really bad.  There must have been lightning as the power was knocked off for an hour!  But it gives an insight into just how quickly the weather can change here – after the storm all the cars out the front were absolutely covered in sand – no doubt my floors are as well 😦

Supper tonight was some sort of noodle again which I’d bought at the weekend – fuel rather than pleasure.  Thankfully I’ll be eating at the school for the next two days because of my class times – I’m not sure I should be thankful for that given the last meal of pigs’ ears, but at least I can guarantee there will be rice!

Tonight – it’s 6.45 here so for the next couple of hours I’m going to curl up on my sofa with chocolate, pepsi, my furry blanket and my ipad and watch utter rubbish on my ipad 🙂  Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, I’m so grateful and I’m also so lucky to have really good friends who have sent me lovely messages as well.  I never thought I’d ever be spending my birthday like this – I mean that in a good way, actually in China, I just take each day as it comes now, this whole year is an adventure, each day throws up something so different and so random, life back in Scotland is going to be very quiet in comparison – although I’m still craving mashed potato like mad!